Debut Author Spotlight is a Saturday feature at Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each week from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.
Heather L. Reid has always had a sense of wanderlust and a belief in the paranormal. She eats mayonnaise on her fries, loves video games, and getting lost in a good story.
This native Texan now lives with her Scottish hubby in South Ayrshire, Scotland, where she spends her weekends wandering the moors in search of the ghost of William Wallace and exploring haunted castles.
RELEASE DATE: April 2013 | PUBLISHER: Month9Books | GENRE: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Seventeen-year-old Quinn hadn’t slept a full night in twenty-three days. She’s terrified of the demons that stalk her dreams and whisper hauntingly of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life and her arsenal of energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. Now the demons will do anything they can to keep them apart. If Quinn can learn to trust her heart, and Aaron can discover the secret locked away in his fragile memory, their combined power could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
What is PRETTY DARK NOTHING about?
Pretty Dark Nothing is full of demons, and I don’t mean the hot fallen angel, bad boy types. These demons are the evil, hairy, sulphurous kind, bent on manipulating and destroying Quinn’s life. Throw in some romantic sparks with a psychic amnesic, an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite get over, and suspension from the cheerleading squad for failing grades, all while the demons are pushing her to the brink of madness, and I hope it’s a recipe for something darkly paranormal and not quite typical.
Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine in PRETTY DARK NOTHING
Quinn is damaged but not defeated. Stubborn, self-reliant, sometimes selfish. She’s a bit of a perfectionist, but being tormented by demons that nobody else can see means she’s got more to worry about than popularity, her failing grades, and being suspended from the cheerleading squad. Trust issues, especially trusting herself. How can she expect her friends to believe in demons, when she’ doesn’t even believe in them either.
How did you research PRETTY DARK NOTHING?
As a child, I suffered from night terrors and sleep walking. Although I eventually grew out of the sleep walking, the nightmares never went away. I would dream of faceless entities and demons on a reoccurring basis. I spent my pre-teen years trying to rationalize my fear while I spent my nights huddled under my covers with a book and a flash light afraid to fall asleep for fear of what would greet me in my dreams. I kept this a secret from my friends and afraid of what they would think. The dark torture of my imagination lasted through three years of middle school and finally faded. I still don’t think my mother knows how terrified I was of falling asleep and I have no idea why the nightmares stopped, maybe they were my way of coping with the stress of adolescence. I don’t know.
When I reached college, I went through a particularly bad time in my life, suffered from depression, illness and the nightmares returned. I wasn’t frightened like I was when I was young; I recognized them for what they were. We all have inner demons we battle, those voices that tell us we’re not good enough, taunt us, paralyze us with fear.
That’s when the idea for a novel started to form. I asked myself what would happen if those negative voices, inner demons weren’t imagined. What would happen if they were real and they started to manifest outside the dream world? What if they influenced things around us and what if you were the only one that could see them? That’s when Quinn and the idea for Pretty Dark Nothing was born. I didn’t start writing Pretty Dark Nothing right away. I did some character sketches and jotted down some notes. I read books on demon mythology and hierarchy, the bible, books and documentaries on hauntings and possession, Greek and Roman mythology, accounts of near death experiences, anything considered paranormal I could get my hands on. Not all of it went into the book, in fact, most of it didn’t, but it laid the groundwork and stimulated my imagination. Quinn and I battled the demons that tortured her together and in the process, she taught me how to battle my own.
Is PRETTY DARK NOTHING the first in a series or a stand alone novel?
Pretty Dark Nothing is first in a series.
When is your favourite time to write?
At night, when it’s dark outside and the house is quiet.
Where is your favourite place to write?
My very favourite place to write is in Waterstone’s bookstore in Edinburgh, Scotland. It has an amazing bay window on the second floor with views of Edinburgh castle. I’m not in Edinburgh often though, so when I’m at home, I like to either write in bed on my laptop, or in the living room of our tiny flat which has a beautiful sea view.
What was the last book you enjoyed and why?
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. When I read the opening line, I KNEW I had to read this book and I wasn’t disappointed. A historical fantasy about a covenant of female Assassins who serve the God of Death? Heck yeah! Dark gods, court intrigue, murder, assassinations and romance, this book hooked me and didn’t let go until the very end. Can’t wait for the sequel, Dark Triumph.
Which authors do you admire?
There are so many! George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, Libba Bray, Maggie Stiefvater, Cassandra Clare , Madeline L’Engle, Ursula LeGuin, JK Rowling, Phillip Pullman, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, C.S Lewis, Tolkien, Shakespeare, the list is too long.
Describe yourself in five words.
Determined. Thoughtful. Helpful. Easy-going. Enthusiastic.
I’m currently working on the sequel to Pretty Dark Nothing.